This well-known hymn was written by Ray Palmer, a young man who was preparing for the ministry. It was his personal prayer for renewed courage and energy at a time when he was feeling exhausted and lonely. He wrote the poem for himself with no plan to ever show it to another person. Two years later (1832) he ran into his friend, Lowell Mason who asked him to compose some hymns for an upcoming hymnal. Palmer was still too overwhelmed with the responsibilities of his life to feel up to writing something new, so he opened his journal and offered Mason this poem. Mason promptly set it to music and told his friend,
“Mr. Palmer, you may live many years and do many good things, but I think you will be best known to posterity as the author of ‘My Faith Looks up to Thee.'”
When your faith is flagging, and you are afraid you can’t keep going, remember this hymn. Ray Palmer did become a pastor, and wrote other hymns, but this is the most famous. You can have faith that God uses us even in our weakest moments.